Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the eldest son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, died on Saturday morning of a heart attack at the age of only 33.
Three days of mourning were declared across the UAE with instructions for government departments to fly the flag at half mast though work will continue as usual.
Though Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed was the eldest son of the Ruler of Dubai the title of Crown Prince belongs to his younger brother Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed. “Today, I lost a best friend and a childhood companion, my dear brother, Rashid. You will be missed,” Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said in a statement.
The succession in Dubai is regulated.
Sheikh Rashid was born in Dubai on 12 November 1981. He was educated in Dubai at the Rashid Private Secondary School. He then attended Sandhurst Military Academy in the United Kingdom and graduated in 2002.
He was passionate about equestrian endurance sports and his favourite football team was Manchester United. He even won two gold medals at the 2006 Asian Games for the 120 km Endurance Individual mixed and the 120 km Endurance Team Mixed. He owned several companies including one that had to do with horseracing. He also chaired the National Olympic Committee during from 2008 to 2012. He co-founded the Dubai Cultural Sports Club in Al Aweer, which he also chaired until it was taken over by his brother Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Prayers have already been held and he was buried Saturday evening at the Umm Hurair cemetery in Bur Dubai.
It is not known whether he suffered from a known cardiac disease and unconfirmed rumours have already begun circulating that he was a part of a special operations unit deployed in Yemen and was killed in the fighting.
His personal wealth was estimated by Forbes magazine in 2010 at $1.9b US dollars.
Photo credit: Yousif Al Mulla via Flickr.com